What, if anything, does 'Lilaila' mean? What language is it from?
I fudged it up to use as a character name... and remember to Google before using it this time.
Google, alas, is unhelpful, and Babelfish doesn't translate it. Neither did any of the online dictionaries I found, although it was listed on one Spanish-word site. A "Santa Lilaila" turns up occasionally (Saint Lilaila?) but never in any helpful context. It's listed as a common name for a chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach). A few people are using it as an online handle. I've found Lilaila on a list of what seems to be given names, on a Spanish/Italian/Portuguese webpage, but not on any baby-name pages, which is odd. (Baby-name sites will list almost anything as a potential name, plants esp.) I've found it written in Greek (I think... Λιλαία?), and mentioned in context with Middle-Eastern culture. Lillalas, or something like it, pops up on a buggy webpage as meaning something... I don't know, but apparently it's not a good thing in Mexico.
I'm pretty sure it's safe to use--if it meant something really awful, there'd be more than 2k-ish hits--but I'm still wondering if it means something like "festering armpit of Satan" in Spanish or Arabic.
What types of demon-like creatures exist in various cultures?
I'm moderately familiar with Western-style demons and jinn, and was wondering how many similar myths exist in other cultures. I'm shooting for invisible, incorporeal spirits here, with an emphasis on critters that can somehow be bound, controlled, or warded off by human means.
The Seal of Solomon, demonic seals, summoning circles, symbols of protection and all that jazz.
Googling "Seal of Solomon" brings up a lot of plant pictures. I mean, a LOT. Also a bunch of New-Age jewelry stores. It seems to be either a ring or some kind of six-pointed star, by most accounts. Maybe both. Anyone know more?
Searching for demonic anything brings up even more New-Age stuff, and rather dubious-looking Satanist sites. I've found a few pictures purported to be from a medieval grimoire, but nothing exceedingly helpful.
Were summoning circles ever used in any culture, and if so, what did they look like? (I'm beginning to wonder if circles were just made up for high-fantasy novels.)
Note: I'm not looking for a "real" demon seal or circle; I'd like to get my paws on some vaguely historical (or at least old) symbols from various cultures, to get a general idea of how they were put together.
I am looking for real symbols of protection against various supernatural nasties. The pentacle/pentagram seems to be quite popular in Western myth, but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I've already used the triple-crescent sign elsewhere. I'm considering something like the Hand of Fatima, but am still looking for other possibilities.
Things you can't do in Islam, with a Sufi bent.
I've poked around several sites on the theology, various interpretations and all, role of women etc. I think I've got the general gist of the Pillars. But since none of those pages mentioned the prohibition against eating pork--Muslims aren't supposed to eat pork, right?--I figured I'd better ask for a roll-call of the obvious no-nos. And some of the less-obvious things one might abstain from; if one were of a more ascetic bent.
The character won't be Muslim exactly (it's a future/alternate-universe setting) but as the religion is obviously based on it, I don't want to do anything stupidly offensive.
This is for my webcomic thingy, Lacunae (*plug, plug, pimp, whore*), hence the emphasis on the visuals... Hopefully I got the tags right; if not, throw a mod-boot at me--I didn't see anything about tag use in the userinfo.